On average, Shih Tzu puppies need to be bathed every six weeks. If their coats are being kept short in a "puppy clip," then they will need their fast-growing coats clipped about every six weeks, and they will need to be bathed before the trimming can begin. According to the Shih Tzu Club, the longer the coat is kept, the more baths are needed.
According to "The KISS Guide to Raising a Puppy," all puppies are most impressionable when they are eight to 12 weeks old. This is the best time to give a Shih Tzu puppy the first introduction to the tub and then a first full bath.
Because a bath is a long procedure and small Shih Tzu puppies have short attention spans, first get the get puppy used to sitting or standing in the tub or basin. Later, fill the tub with a small bit of water and let the puppy get used to how that feels.
The first full bath with shampoo should be after the Shih Tzu is 3 months old. Bring everything to the tub to make the bath as short as possible so the puppy will not begin to get upset.
Shih Tzus kept in long show coats need to be bathed every two weeks, unless they get very dirty somehow in a shorter amount of time. They will always need brushing and combing every day.
Only bathe a Shih Tzu puppy when the coat is dirty or smelly, which can mean every two to eight weeks, considering the puppy's coat length and environment. Too much bathing can lead to dry, itchy skin.
- "The KISS Guide to Raising a Puppy"; Liz Palika; 2002
- Shih Tzu Club: Care and Grooming